I posted a blog back in January, ‘I predict a perfect storm for tax in 2012’ , which mentioned HMRC’s time to pay arrangements.


It is looking like this aspect is happening as predicted…


HMRC’s time to pay arrangements
In the past it was possible to arrange to pay significant tax liabilities over time with HMRC, via their Business Support Service. This was a popular service, and one that many people made use of. In the past a five-minute phone call was all it took to arrange to pay tax over 10 months, with HMRC charging interest.

However, I have been receiving feedback both directly and through the tax press that things have been changing. It is now quite difficult to arrange a payment plan with HMRC, and they are spending a long time negotiating before agreement is reached. In many cases they are not approving the applications now, when it was a straightforward process before. If someone does have an agreement, then further agreements are not usually possible in later years.

It is therefore important to know about any tax liabilities early, so that these can be planned for as assistance from HMRC with payment plans is unlikely to be possible.


We will also start seeing the results of the other predictions I made soon – particularly the fines for late returns, where the fine relates to the form and not the tax due. HMRC have stated that they do intend to charge the new daily penalties for late 2011 tax returns.


If you know anyone who is behind with their tax, please do pass on these details so they can hopefully avoid a ‘perfect storm.’